Refrigerator Cleaning

If you’re wondering how long the leftovers have been in your refrigerator…well then…it is safe to say too long. Cleaning your refrigerator should not be a once a year activity, but rather year round!

Harmful bacteria can make its way into your refrigerator and multiply!

The photo shows thousands of bacteria growing inside this
refrigerated jar of jam. Each of those little dots is what microbiologists
call a bacterial “colony.” Those colonies can potentially
make you and your family very ill.

How to Make Cleaning Your Refrigerator Painless

TRY- adding to your grocery list “CLEAN FRIDGE!” before food shopping.

WHY? You will know what food you have in your refrigerator, and can make a decision if you should throw out the current food or buy more. Remember to check perishable foods often. Cooked leftovers should be consumed or frozen in 2-3 days. Check food “use by dates,” and discard if the date has passed. And always remember “when in doubt, throw it out!

NEXT… Take time to wipe up spills and crumbs in your refrigerator. This will prevent cross-contamination. An example of cross-contamination would be if contaminated dirt on the bottom of a shelf touched apples you just bought and ate. With regular cleaning, harmful bacteria cannot grow.

HOW? Use dish soap and water to clean your refrigerator regularly. Clean shelves, drawers and walls of your refrigerator and freezer monthly with water and dish soap. Sanitize with a chlorine bleach solution made from 1 teaspoon of regular unscented bleach and 1 quart of water.

REMEMBER- Make it a habit to clean your refrigerator regularly. The rewards of having a clean and safe refrigerator year round is a kitchen “battle” you can win! 

For more information on refrigerator cleaning visit:
  1. Your local Extension office at 
  2.    Food Storage Chart 
  3. Download for FREE the FoodKeeper- Your new tool for smart food keeping

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© Eat Smart, Be Fit Maryland!Maira Gall